Header
Vienna - Step into.....  CD (album) cover

STEP INTO.....

Vienna

 

Crossover Prog

3.34 | 10 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ozzy_tom
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After not bad, but average "Overture", the same year Vienna decided to record another longplay - "Step Into...". And I have to say that it was a wise decision, because in spite of short time which passed between these albums, we can hear an improvement. However songs are slightly shorter here, they became more energetic, lively and heavier. You could think that shorter duration of tracks means automatically more mainstream approach, but I can assure you that on "Step Into..." situation is quite opposite, compositions are less pop/AOR-oriented and more prog this time. While cheese factor connected with 80s gear and production is unfortunately still presented here, it doesn't bother listener as much as on "Overture". I'm especially fond of wider usage of old-school Hammond organ sounds. It was a clever decision to mix-up more vintage vibe in keyboards department, but of course it was 1988 so high-tech synths still dominate on this record.

And now the songs:

1. "Step Into The Vivid Garden" - beginning of the album is a real surprise. Yukihiro Fujimura sings in English and we have very nice piano melody there. Is it really Vienna or rather Procol Harum?! However it's only few seconds and later on we have very soft instrumental part filled with cute keyboard sounds (often flute-like). In the middle we have grandiose symphonic orchestration attack and near the end vocal part appears again. Nice, little ditty, very untypical for this band. Good introduction for me.

2. "Gathering Wave" - instrumental bombast very much in the vain of Gerard. Shusei Tsukamoto rather successfully tries to re-create Toshio Egawa's synthesizers histrionics and plays like there's no tomorrow, while Yukihiro Fujimura is blasting our ears with heavy-handed metal riffs. Truly furious performance, definitely the most Gerard-inspired composition in Vienna's repertoire.

3. "Schvelle" - first vocal-oriented track on this album is a standard heavy prog number driven by hard-edged guitar and dazzling synthesizers. Very energetic & "busy". There are also some brief but good organ passages. Similar to other Japanese prog-rock bands like Novela or Scheherazade.

4. "Magic Eyes" - first mini-epic (only slightly above 8 minutes long) is a decent track with as usual competent vocals and above average keyboards performance. I truly enjoyed those ass-beating Hammond rides and melodic piano bits, even fanfare-like 80s synthesizers sound OK here. I love the middle part with military-style drumming and (electronic created) flute sounds too. All in all very symphonic approach.

5. "Caution!" - similar to "Schvelle" but I think it's slightly better. Only this too sloppy/poppy refrain can ruin your fun, but it's a small complaint 'cause the main attraction of this song are solos of course. And these guys surely know how to deliver the goods! Especially extended, ripping Hammond organ solo is a blast! It's so frenzy and hard beating fragment, that it could make even Toshio Egawa proud.

6. "Sleepless night" - delicate ballad filled with melancholic vocals and soaring synthesizer sounds. Nothing particularly stands out here. Can be to take a deep breath between more dynamic tracks but that's all.Similar songs took too much space on Gerard's 3rd album "Irony of Fate" later IMHO.

7. "Fall in alone" - the longest composition of the album is too messy for me. There are too many corny, pop-oriented vocal parts for my taste (some of them in poor English), while Ryuichi Nishida's drumming is too heavy and busy at times. However solos are top notch as ever so I definitely can't say it's a waste of disk's space.

"Step Into..." is an enjoyable effort but I don't think it will ever break to anybody's TOP 20 list. Gerard's influences are much more evident here than on Vienna's debut album, and that's actually good news for me 'cause I'm Gerard's admirer, but Shusei Tsukamoto isn't as spectacular as Toshio Egawa. He's solid, but he is just unable to impress me as much as other Japanese keyboardists. However I appreciate that he decided to use more Hammond on this longplay, it's always a big plus for me. In general it can be an interesting album for fans of such J-prog bands as Novela, Scheherazade, Gerard and to a lesser extend also Moondancer, Teru's Symphonia or Outer Limits.

Best tracks: "Magic Eyes" & "Gathering Wave"

Almost 4 stars...but rather 3,5 from ozzy_tom

ozzy_tom | 3/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

WARNING: Forum software upgrade in progress, login function maybe affected for some users during that time.

Share this VIENNA review

>

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — the ultimate jazz music virtual community | MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music virtual community


Server processing time: 0.03 seconds